Stay Calm

Another exciting week in Australian federal politics. 

The 47th such, this year.

Exciting for government opponents – like lion fans at the Roman Coliseum. Exciting for government supporters – like bus passengers careening down a forested hillside. Exciting for Throsby, too, like a food-throwing contest, and the menu? Shit pies.

Zealots and Refugees

It began in the aftershock of a nation-wide “Marriage Equality” referendum, and don’t you dare call it the “Same Sex Marriage Poll.” The country’s most devout White Christian warriors swarmed from cathedrals, churches, tabernacles, and assorted out-houses to defend a besieged white Christian majority whose rights would evaporate before throngs of wedding-partying queers.

But none of the zealots believed it for a minute, their intention but to embarrass the hip leather-jacketed entrepreneurial republican investment banker foisted upon them, one Malcolm Turnbull, whose latest career pastime is donning top hat and silks to play Prime Minister. His #LNP cross-hardened evangelical party troopers hold him in esteem so low he ranks, as queue-jumper, just below seafaring refugees.

Speaking of whom, these illegal foreign scoundrels – whose wealth grants them passage on the Timor Sea in decrepit leaky fishing craft famous for luxury appointments – are imprisoned in tropical detention camps far from their duplicitously-sought paradise, Straya, by those compassionate warm-hearted folk of White Australia Policy fame. These ingrates spent this week complaining, like the selfish ungrateful hordes we knew they were, because the revered Führer for Border Farce, Peter Dutton, wanted them moved to new unfinished unsecured quarters. The Campmeister convinced Papua New Guinea to deploy fuzzy wuzzy gendarmes to destroy refugee facilities at the old camp – while, unfortunately, it was still occupied by, err, refugees.

An understanding world community applauded the innovative minister. Throsby’s heart beat proudly.

An Election in Queensland

International readers, should they give a fork, might muse upon the inversion by which Australia’s confederates live in a “deep north” of a state curiously named Queensland. Five million lost souls occupy its almost 2 million square kilometres, comprising a Florida-like Gold Coast overflowing with retirees and high-rise speculators, the city of Brisbane, a more urbane suburban Miami, a tropical coastal north skirted by the Great Bleached Reef, and an arid inland sparsely worked by farmers, gas frackers, and querulous quarryers. Most significant, Queensland is home of Asia’s favourite child, Pauline Hanson, whose One Nation party (#PHON) is a collection of xenophobic eccentrics that make America’s Tea Party resemble the rabid left. Despite its bizarre track record, PHON protest-polled 14% in the state election on 25th November.

All political parties except The Greens supported a wealthy Indian magnate’s desire to establish, in the state’s Galilee Basin, a A$22 billion coal mining complex with Australian taxpayers stumping up $1 billion for his private railway. Of little or no concern to far-sighted nation builders spruiking the black-coal white elephant, most of the great unwashed oppose the mine. Its even rarer supporters also oppose financing the railway. As proponents rabbit on about how it will create 10 thousand jobs, opponents quote Adani’s expert’s figure of 1200 odd, while late and ironic news suggests Chinese financiers might not only bootstrap the project but FIFO their own low-cost foreign workers. Shazam!

Christian by Name

Throsby greatly admires The Honourable Christian Porter, MP, a neoliberal Tory in charge of punishing welfare recipients, as a chutzpahist extraordinaire.

Christian (by name, Tory by nature) told the National Press Club on Wednesday (22nd Nov’17) that: 

1. it would be hugely unfair to make politicians illegally elected through their own negligence pay back income and expenses earned during their fraudulent employment;  

2. having proudly cut welfare spending by 10%, his department will continue to chase alleged over-payment of welfare recipients who are presumed guilty of fraud because a dodgy algorithm said so – unless and until they produce income tax certificates from up to 7 years ago to prove his ill-informed Centrelink computer is wrong. 

An additional 1000 contractors, costing somewhat more than sacked permanent staff they replaced to save money, will hound these criminals.

In a footnote, he explained the most miserable and vulnerable of these riff raff will be drug tested. Evidence-based, but retrospectively of course, in the event that the cruel experiment actually works. As Minister Porter explained in his most forensic legalese:

“I first became attracted to the idea of compelling people to seek treatment via drug testing when I was a crown solicitor in drug court,” he said.

“I do earnestly believe that this is well worth trying. I think it will work, actually. And we are a government that is actually producing results in this area, actually quite remarkable results, and we should be allowed to try.”

Actually. Perhaps even architecturally.

Crumbling Infrastructure

It might vaguely interest foreign perusers to learn Australia, which wins a disproportionate share of international competitions, is a leading contender in the Corrupt Nations Olympics.

Sydney’s crumbling Olympic stadium built for the year 2000 event is to be demolished and rebuilt, along with several other Sydney sports venues, for the princely taxpayer donation of $2.5 billion to the backroom boys in charge of over-organised sport.

Statewide gratitude poured into NSW government ears from an appreciative populace whose hospitals, schools, and general infrastructure (still unsold) were in such perfect condition – due to neoliberal overfunding – that no one could think what to do with the surplus public money.

Throsby waits with baited breath for the NSW state premier to announce the forthcoming demolition and rebuilding of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House, their operational ages being multiple lifetimes greater than the stadium, whose paint has barely dried.

In minor news, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull suspended Australia’s parliamentary democracy for a week to avoid being embarrassed while his government fell into a minority position due to its elected members failing to comply with the constitution. No biggie.

Its been a fabulous week. Congratulations to all.

They don’t call Australia “down under” for nothing. 

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